The Regal Cinema was a one-man commercially operated single screen cinema that showed a unique mix of films. It had been housed in the Newcastle Council owned Birmingham Gardens-Heaton Community Hall since 1950 and commanded a large and loyal patronage of approximately 34,000 per year. The Regal Cinema closed on 31st of October 2006.
The cinema showed a wide variety of new, old, foreign, and ‘art house’ film, frequently with extended seasons. The proprietor Bruce Avard invariably provided an introductory talk prior to a screening.
The cultural significance of the Regal to the Newcastle community and the region is well documented.
In 2010 a grant was secured towards the refurbishment of the building under the NSW Government Community Building Partnership scheme.
Local community groups are working with Newcastle City Council and an alliance of film industry professionals to reopen the cinema as a community-operated facility incorporating education and training programmes.
The Regal is due to reopen in early 2014.